Assistantship Contracts: Please direct questions regarding the collective bargaining agreement, contract management and procedures, salary, and insurance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the Graduate Studies Employment Board (which includes department-submitted openings for assistantships and other employment on campus) click here.
What is an Assistantship?
An assistantship is a financial award to a graduate student for part-time work in teaching or research while pursuing study toward an advanced degree. The primary goal of an assistantship is to assist students in strengthening and successfully completing their academic program.
Approximately 1,500 teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified graduate students in various departments within the university. Assistantships are competitively awarded at the department level and typically require 10 to 20 hours of service per week. Assistantship appointments are usually made within the students’ academic units. However, graduate students may accept an assistantship outside the unit in which they are pursuing a degree. Students interested in being considered for assistantships should contact the chairperson/administrator in the unit in which they wish to hold an assistantship. Individual departments determine assistantship actual amounts. Many assistantship recipients also receive additional grants and scholarships. Please see the Funding Overview for additional opportunities.
Types of Assistantships
- Teaching Assistant (TA)/ Teaching Assistant Special (TASpec): is directly involved in producing student credit hours, i.e., responsible for one or more classes or lab sections. Teaching Assistants may not teach courses offered for graduate credit.
- Graduate Assistant (GA)/Graduate Assistant Special (GASpec): one whose duties are related to instruction, but who is not directly involved in producing student credit hours.
- Teaching Associate (TAssoc): an advanced teaching assistant who holds the master’s degree (or equivalent) and who directly produces student credit hours. Students who have been advanced to doctoral candidacy may be approved, as Teaching Associates, to teach courses offered for graduate credit through submission by the graduate unit of an Approval for Graduate Instruction form to Graduate Studies.
- Research Assistant (RA): assists in research work that is relevant to the assistant’s thesis, dissertation or other requirement for a graduate degree.
- Project Assistant (PA): performs work required by a research grant, contract or special project that is not necessarily directly related to degree requirements. Employment associated with administrative/office support should not be classified as a project assistantship.
To be employed as a TA/TA Spec, GA/GA Spec, TAssoc, RA or PA a student must meet the following criteria:
- Have been formally admitted to a graduate program at the University of New Mexico.
- Be currently enrolled at the University of New Mexico for a minimum of 6 hours of course work, thesis or dissertation hours which count towards the graduate degree. Courses taken for AUDIT are not accepted as part of the minimum hours.
- Entering graduate students, admitted in Summer, must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 credit hours in coursework that will apply to the degree. Continuing graduate students, including international students, are eligible to work up to full-time (1.0 FTE) during the summer session and are not required to be enrolled.
- Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in graduate course work each semester.
- Students on Type 1 or Type 2 probation are ineligible to hold an assistantship. Students on Type 3 probation may provisionally hold an assistantship for one semester (see Academic Probation and Consequences).
- Be within the time limit for completion of the degree sought.
- Master’s Students: All work used to meet degree requirements for a master’s degree, including transfer credit, must be completed within a seven-year period immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
- Doctoral Students: Doctoral candidates have five (5) calendar years from the semester in which they pass their doctoral comprehensive examination to complete the degree requirements
Procedures for Petition for Assistantship Awards
A student who desires to hold an assistantship appointment under conditions different from those described above should address a petition to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The petition should include a detailed explanation of what is requested, what the exceptional circumstances are, and why a waiver of policy is desirable from the point of view of progress toward his or her degree. The petition will be reviewed by their department chairperson/administrator or principal investigator as well as the graduate director who may either deny the petition or recommend approval to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies shall make the final decision.
UNM Student Health Plan website
Graduate Students with assistantships (25% FTE) or fellowships can verify their health insurance coverage by entering their UNM ID# and birthdate on the AHP website.
- If you see your Group# and Member ID, you are enrolled in coverage.
- If you are having issues (including verification of insurance with a provider), please contact UNM Team Health during business hours at (844) 866-2224 for assistance.
- If you do not see your Group# and Member ID, you are not enrolled. Please contact the following for assistance:
- Background Checks for Assistantship Recipients
- Health Insurance Benefits
- Medical Leave and Absence without Leave
- Reappointments and Terminations
- Required Training for Assistantship Recipients
- Resident Tuition and Tuition Waiver Awards
- Salary Guidelines
- Start and End Dates
- Stipends and Benefits